When Hunting, One Knife Is Good But More Knives Are Better. These Knife Sets Can Help Make The Hunt Easier No Matter The Size Of The Game.
Each year hunting season rolls around there are experienced hunters and first-time hunters anxious to make their way into the field. Whether a bow hunter or a firearms hunter, one thing remains consistent between the two: They both need something to clean game and prepare it to be able to get it out of the field and home.
No one would argue that you don’t need a knife, but sure enough each hunter would back his choice of blade in a discussion led by the question “What do you use?”
This year, as usual, I found some likely candidates to add to the discussion of whose knife is better, though this time, instead of a single knife to tackle the project, let’s consider knife sets. They can’t get your game for you but we can put them through their paces to see if they can help make the most out of what you do get.
The Gerber Moment is a two-knife set. Of the test entries, this one is for the budget-minded hunters looking to spend the short dollar. It is made in China and the fit and finish is darn respectable considering each knife runs about $17.
The two knives were not hair-popping sharp out of the package, though it didn’t take long to up their edge games. Both the large utility knife and the small finesse model come with contoured rubber grips.
The scales do not totally cover the full-tang handle design. A small perimeter of the tang is left exposed around the scales. At the rear of each tang are small oblong-shaped notches to serve as lanyard holes. They’re small holes at that, as you won’t get much more than paracord through them. As mentioned, the edges of the tang are proud of the scale but not so much as to cause any hot spots.
Both knives are drop-point designs, with the large knife being hollow ground and sporting a gut hook. The small Finesse is a full-flat-ground drop point. Texturing on the rubber grips helps provide a good, solid purchase. Of the two, as you would expect, the small detailing knife is pretty agile, though it isn’t like the large one is clumsy. To tote them both Gerber provides a dual-carry nylon belt sheath with plastic liner inserts.
Overall, the knives are quite well made. The design cleans up easy. After you do some work to bump up edge performance, you’ve got some users.
I have never been much for gut hooks. I remember when the Wyoming Knife was new and loads of hunters were sold for life on gut-hook knives. Even though I don’t use them, I can see how some hunters could like them. The gut hook on the Moment is pretty large.
I would have to give the set a thumbs up. It would be good for a hunter on a budget or one looking to try out different styles until finding one that suits him best.
Outdoor Edge Razor Guide Pak
The Outdoor Edge Razor Guide Pak comes with two knives—the RazorBone and the RazorCape—along with a small bone saw. The knives take replaceable razor-blade-style inserts. Both are folders and come with multiple replacement blades.
Outdoor Edge provides a boning/fillet-style blade along with a drop point and gutting blade for the RazorBone. For the RazorCape knife, you get two cape-blade inserts. Both have glass nylon and TPR rubber inlay handles.
A lockback system secures the blades in the open position. The handles don’t have a lot of cross-sectional contouring and the texturing on the rubber inserts provides some traction to your grip. There’s a thumb groove with jimping on the spine of the blade holder.
What worked well for me was the difference in thicknesses between the blade holder and the blade gave me a great lip to secure my handhold while executing a pinch grip. As I used the RazorBone in a butcher grip, the thin tip of the insert snaked through joints and kept me close to the bone so that I didn’t leave any of the good stuff behind.
The RazorCape knife works well but has a large choil. I find such choils a waste of potential edge length. As if that isn’t bad enough on a hunting knife, they basically become a fur catcher. Both folders come with a pocket clip, though for me they are not pocket-carry-style knives. All the inserts come scalpel-sharp, so show them respect while handling them.
Lastly, the Flip n’ Zip saw works well but the anodized aluminum handle doesn’t do a lot for me. It makes a nice, thin package. A lockback system securely holds the blade in place. It’s just that the aluminum handle, even with CNC grooves, is thin and pretty slippery in my hands once things get wet.
Also, the handle is so thin it makes it a bit difficult for my fat mitts to hold onto it. I would hate to try it with gloves on while the handle is covered in blood. The extra blades, all 420J2 stainless steel, are stored in a wax canvas roll.
Knives Of Alaska Bobcat Combo
The set from Knives of Alaska (KOA) comes with the Alpha Wolf knife and the Bobcat Hatchet—hence, the Bobcat Combo. I’ve used the Alpha Wolf before. It’s a full-tang design made of D2 tool steel and a layered polymer handle. The handle contouring includes four finger grooves, with the index groove on the ricasso. It is a straightforward, fully flat-ground drop-point design.
The Alpha Wolf comes shaving sharp out of the box and has a general curve to the cutting edge. I have to say as a game knife it handles well and you can exert a great deal of control over the cutting edge with little effort.
The design fits well in my meaty hand and the cuts get made where I need them without struggling. At the rear of the edge is a micro choil and, as usual, when the material being cut gets hung up there, it frustrates my workflow. I would say the only thing I would prefer is a bit of texturing to up the grip game.
As you can imagine, the Bobcat hatchet does things like splitting the sternum, cutting the pelvic bone and, if you want, it will bust out some of the tougher joints. It doesn’t have the heft of a full-size hatchet but as my buddy is fond of saying: if you put enough force behind anything you can make it fly. To me, it would be certainly neater than a chainsaw (don’t ask, it’s a drunken Canadian hunter thing). A gut hook is on the back.
A top-notch-made leather sheath carries the combo. I never reviewed a knife from KOA on which the leather wasn’t well executed. It’s a good combo and the Bobcat hatchet is such a neat tool I couldn’t resist using it in the kitchen as a small hand chopper. I know, somewhat sacrilegious, but it’s my kitchen. It’s a great set and as much of a trophy as the game you kill.
There’s a wide range of knives here from budget to bang and represents only a small sampling of the tools available to hunters these days. If you’re going for the big game, don’t ruin the moment by struggling with a poorly crafted tool. Take the time to round out your kit with a good field-dressing knife set.
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